The Busiest Day in Sports

 Posted by at 7:04 pm
Apr 052010

by Mike Radano

Is there anything on the calendar quite like Opening Day?

Seriously, for a baseball fan it has to be the one day that everyone looks forward too and rarely disappoints. It’s the one day of the year everyone has hope – even Mets fans can imagine a run to the playoffs if not supporters of the Royals or Nationals – no matter the end result. Think about it, an 0-1 record with 161 games to play is easily overcome and there is still room for hope.

That’s part of the beauty of baseball, it happens everyday. Every single, mind-numbing day. Same lineup, same . . . sorry, that’s the old beat writer in me whining. Let’s move along.

When the Eagles start of 0-1 it’s the end of the world. An 0-1 start for the Eagles is akin to an 0-10 start for the Phillies – which in its own way is one reason baseball players tend to roll their eyes when asked over and over about one loss – and that’s not going to happen.

Baseball is spring, new life and a look to the summer. Football, basketball and hockey are all about the fall and winter and c’mon, those are all great sports but winter sucks.

More to the point, the Phillies are not only good, they’re relevant. Two World Series
appearances in a row and now they have the No.1 pitcher in the game at the top of their rotation. Cry all you want about Cliff Lee, he’s no Roy Halladay.

So it’s Opening Day across the nation. The Boys of Summer are back in town and life is again good and what else can we talk about. The Phillies, in a building filled with their supporters on the banks of the Anacostia River – give the Nationals a few more years and they too may become relevant – start the 2010 season with hope and a little bit of arrogance with only one goal in mind and that won’t happen for another seven months so what else matters.

Well . . .

* The Eagles traded Donovan McNabb to the Washington Redskins for draft picks.

WTF? Now, I love conspiracy theories but can we really believe the Eagles made the trade on Easter Sunday just to keep the Phillies off the back page of the Daily News. (Full disclosure: I write two days a week for the DN so the other newspapers can pound sand).

Besides the natural question of how do Mormans celebrate Easter and shouldn’t Andy Reid spend as much time with his family as possible, do any of us really believe the Eagles made this move with Opening Day in mind.

The trade itself had to happen. McNabb’s time was over. He was an elite quarterback for many years even without reaching what many believe to be his potential. He was a bit goofy at times and that made him hard to take but he was the best quarterback – sorry Jaws – in franchise history.

Granted, the Redskins seem like an odd choice and not just because Washington is historically the most racist organization in NFL history when you realize the fight song used to say Dixie and not D.C. among many other transgressions. Why trade inside the division? Why trade McNabb to a team that is starved for a quarterback and now has a head coach in Mike Shanahan who understands how to use a veteran quarterback?

According to Reid it was the best fit for both the Eagles and McNabb and for now, that’s kind of how it looks. The ‘Skins have pieces in place to improve with McNabb at the helm. McNabb should have a certain comfort level staying in the division and it says here Reid and Co. know full well McNabb’s time as an elite quarterback is coming to and end so if they can draft well, this is the right move.

Remember one very important thing, trades should be evaluated a year or two down the road and not right away. Still, what’s the fun in that.

* Tiger Woods is about to have his long awaited press conference about his marital infidelities and how it will effect his golf game.

Sorry, don’t care. The only thing Tiger Woods has to do is hit a golf ball a long way and make long putts . . . keep it clean people . . . and I’m impressed. To think a professional athlete let alone a lawyer, banker or candlestick maker is news because of infidelity is beyond bizarre. Woods is not the first husband to cheat and let’s be fair ladies, wives have cheated as well all the way back to Roman times if you’ve had the opportunity to check out Spartacus: Blood and Sand. It should be noted this is Lucy Lawless’ best role since Zena: The Warrior Princess and in some ways even better but that’s for another time. Here’s a question, why does she only star in vehicles with a colon in the title?

We live in a country in which great amounts of time are spent on arguing about Christianity, Islam, Buddha, Scientology, who has a strong moral core and who does not, and so on and so foirth. But a little scandal involving a celebrities sexual exploits that have no bearing on our personal lives, yeah, that’s front page news. Why is it people who quote the Bible and talk of God always seem to forget that part about those without sin casting the first stone?

As far as I’m concerned, let Tiger play golf and on Sunday’s I watch the brilliance of his game. The rest of the week, I have to find a way to pay the bills.

* The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Final is tonight and like most of the universe all I can say is let’s go Butler.

Everyone loves the underdog and Duke, while better than UNC, is a bit annoying. The only rub here is Hoosiers references will get old really quick. Yeah, Butler is where the final was filmed and Kimmy Chitwood hit the game-winner. It’s where the Indiana State Final was held for years and tiny Milan won in 1951 setting the stage for the Hoosiers script so many year’s later.

But let’s focus on the game itself and not the easy tie-ins. Gene Hackman has made enough money and doesn’t need the residuals from a boost in sales.

* UConn . . . sorry, don’t care.

Oh and as good as the Huskies are they can’t beat a Division III men’s basketball team so don’t go there. Understand that Pat Summitt at Tennessee has recruited men off campus for years to play the women’s team to make the women better. There is a reason for this and it’s because when it comes to basketball men are physically better. We could never handle the pain of childbirth, emotionally we don’t hold a candle to women and women deserve equal pay for equal work but on the basketball court, men are better. The UConn women’s team could beat me and four guys from my high school class but not a Division III men’s team.

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